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Frank Miller Reacts To Zack Snyder's DC Movies Referencing Dark Knight Returns


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Legendary writer/artist Frank Miller reacts to Zack Snyder referencing his graphic novel comic The Dark Knight Returns in several of his DCEU films. Miller began his rise to fame on Marvel's Daredevil title back in the 80s, creating such characters as Daredevil's Elektra, Stick and Nuke, before making waves with his take on a Batman of the future with The Dark Knight Returns. The comic followed an aging Bruce Wayne in his continued efforts to spread his crime-fighting presence and battle not only his rogues gallery but one of his greatest allies, Superman.

Director Zack Snyder hasn't been shy about his love and influence of Miller's work, particularly with The Dark Knight Returns. Snyder included some heavy references in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, including the famous suit worn by Batman to battle Superman and several shots that mimicked panels from the series. In Zack Snyder's Justice League cut, there's a sequence at the end, which shows Batman standing atop the Bat-Tank, which looks nearly identical to the one utilized in The Dark Knight Returns, once again signaling Snyder's affection for Miller's work.

RELATED:Why The Dark Knight Returns Would Be Better For Snyder Than Justice League 2

In an interview ahead of the next episode of The Beard and The Bald Movie Podcast, Miller talks about Snyder's use of The Dark Knight Returns in his work, particularly Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder's Justice League. Miller said that at first, he felt "territorial" over the use of his material, but after he'd had some time to take it all in, he felt it was great. Noting the impact The Dark Knight Returns has had on his career and how much he's benefited from it, Miller says that the entire collaboration from comic-to-screen has been a "healthy relationship." Take a look at the full quote below:

"I really gotta say about that-a few years have gone by since all this started, okay? And at first, my reaction was to be very territorial and all that. And now I’ve kind of sat back and with a much deeper breath and longer view on the whole thing and all I can say is: this is great. I mean, I came in and I came up with my idea for The Dark Knight Returns and that basically was the big splash I made, which started my whole career going. And since then I’ve seen the two fields collaborate back and forth. I benefited greatly from Dark Knight Returns and so have they and continue to. And it can only be looked at as a healthy relationship."

Snyder has not only used Miller references from The Dark Knight Returns in his DCEU films, but has even adapted one of Miller's other signature books, 300. Miller wrote and drew 300 as a large-format graphic novel and Snyder famously adapted it with unrelenting accuracy, ripping panels straight from the comic page and bringing them to life on the big screen. Snyder has called The Dark Knight Returns his "white whale", a kind of dream project that he'd love to adapt someday, which is something he'd want to do in the vein of 300, pulling panels from the book and bringing them to life. Animation director Jay Oliva has already given The Dark Knight Returns the animated adaptation treatment, which was released in 2013 in two parts.

Miller is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of another seminal work of his, Sin City, for which he's just prepared to launch his first foray into NFT art with Sin City originals. Miller has done multiple sequel series' to The Dark Knight Returns and continues to be a major influence on the comics and film medium. He co-directed the Sin City films with Robert Rodriguez and says that he's had discussions to do more with the property. Regardless of what Miller does next, his influence over the medium of comics continues to reverberate through filmed entertainment, be it Batman, Daredevil, Sin City, 300, and beyond. It's only a matter of time before another filmmaker pulls from the creator's long legacy of work to shine a light on it on the big or small screen.

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